12 TV shows Netflix cancelled even though critics loved them

Netflix‘Marvel’s Daredevil.’
  • Netflix often sees little value in long-running TV shows, which has led to some critically acclaimed series getting the boot early in their runs.
  • We looked at 12 Netflix originals beloved by critics that were cancelled, from “Glow” to “Bojack Horseman.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Netflix often doesn’t like long-running TV shows, and sometimes that means great shows get the ax early.

The streaming giant has cancelled plenty of shows that upset fans but were panned by TV critics, such as “Everything Sucks!” and “Gypsy.” But it’s cancelled ones that were critically acclaimed, too.

Netflix often doesn’t see the value in shows that exceed 30 episodes (usually two to three seasons) because they become too expensive and too difficult for new viewers to jump into, Deadline reported earlier this year. That means shows like “American Vandal,” “One Day at a Time,” and more have been given the boot earlier than fans, and critics, would have hoped.

The latest Netflix critical darling to bite the dust is its “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” reboot, which Netflix cancelled on Tuesday after two seasons.

Other beloved shows that will say goodbye with final seasons soon include “Glow” and “Bojack Horseman.” The latter managed to make it to six seasons before getting cut, which implies it ended on its own terms. But creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg confirmed that it was Netflix’s decision and he called out the streaming giant for cancelling shows too quickly, referring to “Tuca and Bertie,” which he produced.

We’ve rounded up 12 great TV shows that Netflix has cancelled. We highlighted shows that received an average score over 85% and ranked them based on critic scores (we broke ties with audience scores). We excluded shows that are concluding with movies, such as “Sense8” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Below are 12 cancelled Netflix shows that critics loved:


12. “Marvel’s Luke Cage” — cancelled after 2 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 74%

Netflix description: “A hoodie-wearing, unbreakable ex-con fights to clear his name and save his neighbourhood. He wasn’t looking for a fight, but the people need a hero.”

What critics said: “It takes a season for Luke to find some sense of certainty, for better or for worse. The next step of his journey may be the most fascinating.” –Indiewire (Season 2)


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11. “Santa Clarita Diet” — cancelled after 3 seasons

Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 88%

Netflix description: “They’re ordinary husband and wife realtors until she undergoes a dramatic change that sends them down a road of death and destruction. In a good way.”

What critics said: “While season three is the richest and most layered look at marriage and mortality yet, ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ remains gloriously easy watching.” –Collider (Season 3)


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10. “Easy” — cancelled after 3 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 90%

Audience score: 82%

Netflix description: “Features eight vignettes that follow the complicated, loosely connected lives of young Chicagoans in their 20s and 30s as they tackle love, sex, and self-improvement.”

What critics said: “The final season fulfils the possibilities of the show’s concept, informing it with humanist fury.” – Slant Magazine (Season 3)


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9. “Marvel’s Daredevil” — cancelled after 3 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 92%

Audience score: 93%

Netflix description: “Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the superhero Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.”

What critics said: “What’s clear is that [showrunner Erik] Oleson and his staff course-correct after an overcrowded second season, returning the focus to the people who live in this story.” – RogerEbert.com (Season 3)


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8. “BoJack Horseman” — cancelled after 6 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 93%

Audience score: 94%

Netflix description: “Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the ’90s, 20 years later. He’s a curmudgeon with a heart of … not quite gold … but something like gold. Copper?”

What critics said: “A standout season where the typically inward-facing show turns outward, widening the lens to ask what we owe one another.” – Esquire (season 6)


7. “Glow” — cancelled after 4 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 93%

Audience score: 86%

Netflix description: “In 1980s LA, a crew of misfits reinvent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. A comedy by the team behind ‘Orange Is the New Black.'”

What critics said: “Season 3 is a wrestling match between cause and effect, countering every bit of happiness with a proportionally steep cost.” – The Atlantic (season 3)


6. “Love” — cancelled after 3 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 94%

Audience score: 85%

Netflix description: “Rebellious Mickey and good-natured Gus navigate the thrills and agonies of modern relationships in this bold comedy cocreated by Judd Apatow.”

What critics said: “Love manages to close on its own terms, on an unconventionally hopeful note. But it also provides something that most of us seek but don’t often find from our television shows: a couple of genuine surprises we didn’t see coming.” – Vulture (Season 3)


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5. “Dear White People” — cancelled after 4 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: 52%

Netflix description: “Students of colour navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as ‘post-racial’ as it thinks.”

What critics said: “The college campus satire attempts to reconcile two complicated histories, and mostly succeeds.” – New York Times (season 3)


4. “American Vandal” — cancelled after 2 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 98%

Audience score: 89%

Netflix description: “A high school is rocked by an act of vandalism, but the top suspect pleads innocence and finds an ally in a filmmaker. A satirical true-crime mystery.”

What critics said: “It’s better than anyone could have expected, but a little less than they might have hoped.” – Slate (Season 2)


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3. “One Day at a Time” — cancelled after 3 seasons

Michael Yarish/Netflix

Critic score: 98%

Audience score: 96%

Netflix description: “In a reimagining of the TV classic, a newly single Latina mother raises her teen daughter and tween son with the ‘help’ of her old-school mum.”

What critics said: “The heartbeat of ‘One Day at a Time’ was its spirited insistence that beauty can thrive alongside pain. The series blended multicam-sitcom laughs with a fearless willingness to tackle heavy social issues.” – The Atlantic


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2. “Tuca and Bertie” — cancelled after 1 season

Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 66%

Netflix description:“Free-spirited toucan Tuca and self-doubting song thrush Bertie are best friends – and birds – who guide each other through life’s ups and downs.”

What critics said: “Tuca & Bertie handled a wide range of emotion in just one short season with the utmost humour and heart – and seeing it cancelled before it even had a chance to grow is a blow to fans.” – Polygon


1. “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” — cancelled after 2 seasons

Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 92%

Netflix description: “The cult hit returns! Captured by mad scientists, new host Jonah survives a blitz of cheesy B movies by riffing on them with his funny robot pals.”

What critics said: “Jonah’s finding a strong dynamic with the Bots, the riffs are tighter, and the shorter episode order allows for a more eclectic (if uneven) batch of enjoyably bad movies.” – Consequence of Sound (season 2)

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